Archives Chronicle – Cycle News

Laurent Laurent | November 7, 2021

Cycle news Archives


This Cycle news The Archives column is a reprint of the April 2, 2008 issue. CN has hundreds of past Archives columns in our files, too intended to be archives themselves. So to prevent this from happening, in the future we will revisit the past Archives articles while planning to keep new ones coming -Editor.

The competition: Weekly engine cycle supports Cycle news

From 1969 to 1975, Weekly engine cycle gave the most established Cycle news a run for its money as this country’s weekly newspaper on motorcycle racing. And meanwhile, Weekly engine cycle changed the way races were covered.

Where the focus was almost exclusively on national races, Weekly engine cycle gave US readers much more detailed coverage of international races, in addition to the US championships. Undercapitalized, the newspaper hit the wall in 1975 after Trippe / Cox went through a rough patch promoting racing. Although the newspaper did not survive, it ultimately benefited American readers, with Cycle news dramatically stepping up its product to meet the challenge it faced during the period of the early to mid-1970s.

Weekly engine cycle was the brainchild of Bruce Cox, who, along with fellow Briton Gavin Trippe, founded the revolutionary promotional group Trippe / Cox. Already a publishing veteran after working as a newspaper and magazine editor since he was 16, Cox came to America at a radical time.

“In 1967, I had some money to spare and decided to spend the winter in California,” Cox recalls. ” I read Cycling world from America, listening to The Beach Boys and Jimi Hendrix, heard about free love and spirit-raising substances in Haight Ashbury, so this seemed like the place to be. I wanted to get out in the sun, cross the desert, surf the ocean and do whatever was on offer.

“I dated a promising runner by the name of Rod Gould. He had met Joe Parkhurst from Cycling world at the Isle of Man TT, and generally Joe – who was one of the most generous and kind people I have ever met – had told him to stop by the office if we made the trip. we delivered [rented] a drive across the country from New York and entered Long Beach three days later. The next morning we were at Cycling world office … taking care to arrive just before lunchtime. By the end of lunch I had a job to Cycling world reporter for the winter and Rod had been hired as a mechanic at a local Honda dealership. It was a journey that changed both of our lives.

During his trip, Cox had the idea of ​​trying to launch a new weekly motorcycle newspaper in the United States. In England, he persuaded Gavin Trippe (who at the time was a motocross beats editor for the British weekly Motorcycle news) and another young journalist Bob Berry (who later became editor-in-chief of Motorcycle news then the owner of Classic runner and classic Motorcycle mechanics magazines) to come back with it and give it a shot.

In 1969, the talented trio returned to America and launched Weekly engine cycle—From less than $ 10,000 from Trippe and Cox’s own savings, as well as investments from Gould and Joe Ward. The journal, with its characteristic orange and black letterhead, had an immediate impact. With the flat track, the king of motorcycle racing at the time, Weekly engine cycle broke the mold by placing more emphasis on the rapidly growing road racing segment.

“The industry’s advertising and public relations officials were very supportive from the start,” Cox recalls. “It was as if they were waiting for us. And I had met a lot of them the previous winter with Cycling world. So it all fell into place incredibly quickly, actually.

“One of the reasons we got noticed quickly, I think, was that we started by handing out thousands of pre-launch newspaper samples at Daytona – and there on the right track was Rod Gould. – which ran straight on a pair of Yamaha with, “Weekly Team Motorcycle” on the fairing. The whole industry was there and those who didn’t know us at the start of Bike Week certainly did at the end.

Whether intentionally or unintentionally, the new newspaper made the US National Championships all the more important in association with international coverage.

“I think with Weekly engine cycle, Gavin and Bruce knew a lot of international racers and kinda brought it closer to home, ”said Don Emde, who had the newspaper sponsorship on his 1972 Daytona 200-winning Yamaha. national races, they really mixed in the coverage of international events and made American runners feel like they were part of a larger global racing scene, if you will.

“And, of course, the behind-the-scenes things they’ve done to really integrate American riders into the wider international racing community, with their involvement in Match Races, the Hang 10 Motocross Grand Prix and the Wide World. of Sports Superbikers. They were very influential in making Americans understand that there was a bigger world and more opportunities for them outside of our national racing series. “

Weekly engine cycle also assembled a talented staff.

“We stole some of the top contributors to Cycle news, laughs Gavin Trippe.

“Ralph Springer, whose father was Wilson Springer, automotive editor of the LA Herald Examiner, was the first general news editor. He had grown up in the world of journalism. Ralph was replaced by John Weed, one of the few American riders to compete in the Isle of Man TT in his true world championship period. Tom Beesley, who took over from John as editor, had already been with us for a few years, first as a correspondent in Texas, then as a photographer / journalist.

“We also commissioned reports from freelance writers and actually employed two of the best story writers in motorcycle and automotive journalism full-time: Joe Scalzo and Sam Moses. They are still well known and respected around the world as magazine editors and book authors. “

The desk, while professional, also reflected the laid-back atmosphere of 1970s California. He was sitting at the end of a runway at John Wayne Airport, and one afternoon, Evel Knievel showed up. impromptu to ask Gavin to come to Las Vegas with him.

“I have a new plane,” Knievel boasted to Gavin.

“But you don’t fly,” Gavin said.

“I also had a new pilot,” replied Evel.

With that, they were leaving for a crazy 12 hours in Vegas. While editorially Weekly engine cycle set new standards, financially he was behind the eight ball, was never able to penetrate the market as deep as Cycle news had from the start, despite the best efforts of Dick Mann’s ex-wife, Susie.

“Susie was the advertising director for most of the MCWof existence, ”Cox said. “I could have done with three like her but, still being a journalist at heart, I made what I now realize is the mistake of having a lot more writers on staff than salespeople. at least that meant we had an interesting article! However, it was Susie’s efforts that kept our heads above water.

In the last period of Weekly engine cycleTrippe started going from printing to printing trying to get as much credit as he could. Over the past several months, Trippe, a learning pilot, has sent assembly boards to printers as far away as Bakersfield, as more and more LA area printers refused to give credit. In the end, they ran out of options.

“Our decision was not the result of a lot of thought and angst,” Cox recalls. “I remember sitting at the office on a Monday night. The artwork was ready and only Gavin and I were left in the office. We were wondering where to get the money to pay for the printer the next day and we kind of looked at each other, said something like “Well, that’s it then,” left the artwork art on the desk, walked out the door and we went to Newport Beach for a few beers.

“Telling it to the staff the next day was difficult but luckily another editor made a deal with us for the title and continued on. Thus, the editorial and advertising team was “without work” for a few days. Unfortunately, the new publisher went bankrupt a few months later, but “our guys” all moved quickly to good jobs elsewhere anyway. So I guess having MCW on their CV didn’t hurt them.

While Weekly engine cycle did not survive, his legacy survives in the way it shaped the way motorcycle racing is covered by the American motorcycle media today. CN

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